The Bharatiya Janata Party government needs to stop making “tall claims” and start doing “solid work”, Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Saturday, a day after the Centre said it expected the Gross Domestic Product growth to slow down to 6.5% in 2017-’18.

GDP – a market measure of the value of all goods and services produced in a period – grew at 7.1% in the 2016-’17 financial year.

“The Modi government’s tall claims of India growing at a ‘robust’ rate have evaporated in thin air,” Chidambaram said, adding that the government’s “false bravado and headlines management” can no longer hide the “stark reality”.

He also highlighted that the Congress’ warnings were proven true, pointing to how the GDP growth had fallen from 2015-’16 when it was 8%.

In what he called a “double whammy”, Chidambaram said retail inflation had “soared to a 15-month high of 4.88% in November, and industrial output slowed to a three-month low of 2.2% in October”.

The Congress leader pointed out that any decline in economic activity and growth would result millions of people losing their jobs. “Job creation remains the single biggest failure of this BJP government,” he said, adding that the informal sector was still reeling from the effects of demonetisation. “The agriculture sector has been hit hard and rural despair is abundant,” he said.

Earlier on Saturday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi also criticised the government for India’s economic slowdown. In a post on Twitter, he said new investments in the country were at a 13-year low; credit growth was at its lowest in over six decades; and creation of jobs was at its lowest in eight years.

Gandhi also blamed Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s “genius” and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Gross Divisive Politics” for the state of the economy.